I’m not a huge fan of Christmas & New Year’s letters. In fact, I can’t remember ever writing one, but as I was typing this I realized I had unintentionally written exactly that. Something else I realized was that I needed to do this. I needed to revisit all the amazing things that have happened this year, not that I have forgotten, but I needed to go back and focus intently on them again. This past year has been the worst and the best in so many ways. This Christmas season in particular definitely did not make the favorites list. Reflecting on the best of this past year has taken my mind off the disappointing, heartbreaking evils of this world. If we force ourselves to focus on the good things; even on the smallest seemingly unimportant things, we allow them to overshadow the bad. Right now I need an overshadowing of the bad, as I’m sure many of you do.
So I invite you to look back with me, to rejoice in the great, to let the far less than great fade away, to move on in hope for the New Year – a new chapter.
Before we go back, let me look forward a bit to what I have currently happening.
- Online Store – My online store is up and running. You can purchase physical CDs, digital CDs, t-shirts, stickers, temporary tattoos, and signed album cover photos. Check it out.
- Friday, January 10th at 4pm I will be on KOMO news here in Seattle. I will most likely be telling a little bit of my story and playing a song. This will hopefully be some good exposure.
- Wednesday, January 15th I will be playing at The Sunset Tavern in Ballard with a band.
I am opening for Colin Bradford, along with Hand in the Attic. Doors open at 8:30pm. Show starts at 9pm. Purchase tickets for only $6. Please help spread the word about this show for me. If I bring in a good crowd and do well, it will lead to bigger and better shows.
2013 – Reminisce with me – let’s start at the beginning…
This may look a bit long, but I promise it’s an easy read. :-) Are you with me till the end?
- January 2013 – Through a friend, I got hooked up with a fabulous director from Seattle to film a music video for the pre-album acoustic recording of Run Free. We shot the video in 2 days here on Vashon. This was a first for me – first time in front of the camera…the sole subject…it was very weird, but SO much fun!
- February 2013 - Launched my Kickstarter campaign (along with my music video) to raise money for my debut album. This was a huge step of faith – very scary.
- April 2013 – Kickstarter campaign successfully funded!! Final amount: $16,136. This was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Seeing how much everyone cared about this, complete strangers posting my link on facebook, receiving messages from people I didn’t know about how my music and story was touching their lives, knowing they were sitting, watching, and increasing pledges in the final hours, brought me to my knees in tears!! I knew going into this that it was a long shot. Even my producer thought I was crazy. I had many people tell me it wouldn’t happen, but I had peace through it all. I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing. I will never cease to be amazed over what WE accomplished, and how everyone pulled together to help me in so many ways.
- April/May 2013 – In the studio!! 10 days at Five Acres Studio in British Columbia recording
Run Free was absolutely incredible! I actually started a blog to document my days recording. This was a first on so many levels. Considering I knew literally not a single thing about the music industry or any part of it until summer 2012, this was very overwhelming – in a great way. A cool fact I didn’t notice until just now – one year from the exact day (April 30th) I wrote Run Free, I began recording my album Run Free.
- May 2013 – One year anniversary of performing – May 19th. I began planning my album release party; little did I know it would take every waking (some sleeping) hour of every day for the next 4 months! I also performed in Seattle’s big local music festival Northwest Folklife.
- June 2013 – Performed in my first singer-songwriter storyteller showcase. It was so great. I absolutely love playing with a band, and I prefer that most of the time, but there is such beauty in the simplicity of playing completely alone and getting to tell your song stories. The end of June brought one more visit to the studio and the completion of the album. Also my first practice with a band playing my songs!
- July 2013 – Sent out digital albums to Kickstarter donors, lots of shows including a few big venues in Seattle, some festivals and private shows, and lots of planning and promoting.
- August 2013 – Received my physical albums and other merchandise in the first week, then Augsut 16th – my release party!! The party was amazing! It was everything I hoped it would be. Wonderful friends & family worked together to put my many, many hours of hard work into action. I had a very difficult time believing this was all for something I had done, everyone was there for me. Who am I that all of this was happening??!! Another completely surreal experience to top my list of surreal experiences this year. I also played my first “real” rock show in Seattle at The Crocodile.
- September/October 2013 – September and October were pretty rough months for me. I went through a very difficult time physically and mentally. Most days I could hardly get out of bed, and the days I was out I was barely functioning. I had zero energy and felt very out of control of everything in my life. One good thing in the end of October – I began meeting regularly with an artist coach who is helping keep me on track with my goals.
- November/December 2013 – These months (although still incredibly tough) brought some very good things. I got my music on Playnetwork, who supplies music for airports, retail shops, businesses, etc. I got accepted to Pandora! This was a pretty big deal. I’m nearing the 8 week mark, which is when my music should be up. I got my first interview and album review with a music magazine Innocent Words. Even though I am not the kind of person who just loves to talk about myself, I do really love interviews. The interview should be out near the beginning of 2014. Here is a link to the awesome album review – Run Free is 3rd album from top. I made their top 10 favorites of 2013!
I am GRATEFUL for the most awesome fans! I am THANKFUL for blessings too many to count, and wonderful friends too many to count. I am completely HUMBLED by everyone who has played any part in getting my music “out there.” Thank you for reminiscing with me. I hope you enjoyed it.
So I know that you stuck with me through the letter, please respond with the name of your favorite song from my record :-)
As 2013 comes to a close, it marks the end of the beginning for me. Though sad in many ways to see this chapter come to an end, I have hope for 2014, and so should you. I pray 2014 is a great year for all of you! I hope there is much more joy and excitement in store for each of you. I wish for you to be blessed and encouraged in the ways you have done so for me.
Here’s to a New Year – a new chapter, a chance to write something fresh, to create a unique piece to the puzzle that is your story…